On April 26, 2014*, thousands of people will take to the sky to participate in the Two-Mile High Stand Against Sexual Assault®. At skydive facilities across the country, men and women of all ages and backgrounds will skydive, most for the first time ever, as part of Operation Freefall®, the boldest, highest-altitude, and most daring event organized to raise awareness of sexual assault.
Operation Freefall started in 2001 when, on the fifth anniversary of her rape, Speaking Out About Rape, Inc.® (SOAR®) founder, Kellie Greene, made her first skydive. When Kellie did this, she took a day of tragedy and turned it into a day of triumph. She reclaimed the day that had been taken from her and turned a dreaded annual memorial into a keenly anticipated celebration.
Operation Freefall is the only event of its kind to raise awareness of sexual violence. The event is held simultaneously across the country on the last Saturday of each April, and it benefits both SOAR and local community-based anti-sexual violence organizations. In the past thirteen years, Operation Freefall has raised over one million dollars. The funds are used to:
- Increase local support and outreach services, such as counseling and other healing programs, for survivors of sexual violence.
- Provide recovery, risk-reduction, and prosecutorial information to tens of millions of people, including many in your local community, each year.
- Enhance SOAR’s outreach to assist victims of sexual violence throughout the healing process.
- Educate lawmakers, police officers, students, the public, and the media on the personal impact of sexual violence on survivors.
So, by now you should be asking: “What can I do to help?” Well, first off, you don't need to be an experienced skydiver to participate. In fact, most people are first-timers, and no advance training is required. You make a tandem skydive attached to a United States Parachute Association licensed tandem instructor. So the next time someone asks what you do for your cause, you can proudly proclaim: “I jump from airplanes!” We even provide you with a DVD of your skydive just in case they want proof. For those of you who prefer to keep your feet on the ground and your eyes skyward, we have opportunities for you to participate in this life-changing event, too.
*Rain Date – May 10, 2014